Wine Storage Guidelines
Wines are delicate liquids and require certain parameters to keep them protected for future consumption. The greatest downfall for a bottled wine is excessive heat, like the trunk or inside of a car during the summer months. Temperatures can easily get above 90 degrees and “cook” the wine, creating off flavors, aromas and colors. Other factors that damage bottled wine are humidity levels below 60%, exposure to sunlight, exposure to vibrations from washing/drying machines or train tracks, storage in areas with odors whether a musty smelling basement or garlic and onions in a pantry. Finally, keep bottles stored on their sides or upside down to keep the cork moist and prevent from drying out. Below are considerations for transporting or storing wine.
- Travel with a cooler, use ice packs and Styrofoam packing. The packing will keep labels from getting wet and bottles from banging into each other and possibly breaking.
- Park your vehicle in shaded areas to minimize sunlight and heat.
- Take the wines inside if possible. Leave bottles in the hotel room, take them into the restaurant, etc. if allowed.
- Keep wines at a constant temperature between 52-58 degrees. Avoid rapid temperature fluctuations.
- Store wines away from vibrations i.e. washing machines, dryers, apartments with train tracks, etc.
- Store wines out of the light, especially sunlight.
- Keep wine storage humidity between 60%-80%. Below 60%, corks begin to dry out at the top and above 80%, mold and mildew will grow.
- Wine storage area should be odor free. Musty basements, food items in the pantry or any volatile chemicals will seep into the wine through the cork.
- Store bottles on their sides or upside down to keep corks moist.
- Consider a stand-alone wine cooler. Most are inexpensive, provide the ideal conditions and will protect your investment.